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Focus on bubble players at Chrysler

Lots at stake for many at Chrysler Championship

This week's Chrysler Championship in Tampa Bay, Florida represents the last chance for several players to secure their places on the U.S. PGA Tour for next season.

The $5.3 million event is the final stop before the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta and the last opportunity for players like American Patrick Sheehan to sneak into the top 125 on the money list and secure their Tour card.

While some players will be fighting for a job, others like John Daly will be chasing some season-ending perks.

With only the top 30 on the money list receiving invites to Atlanta next week, the Chrysler will also represent the last chance to gain entry to the $6.5 million season finale.

Still others will have their eye on breaking into the top 40 to book their spot at next year's U.S. Masters while a top-70 finish in the year-end money order will gain a player entry into limited field (70) events such as the lucrative World Golf Championship (WGC).

"I have to play," Sheehan, 129th on the money list, told the St Petersburg Times. "I'm borderline.

"It would be easy for me to say if I secured my card earlier in the year, I would play less, maybe a week or two off here or there.

"This year was a little different. I played well enough last year to get myself into all the invitationals."

Defending champion Vijay Singh and South Africa's Retief Goosen, the 2003 winner, have no such worries.

After missing the cut last week at the Funai Classic, world number two Singh lost any chance of defending the money title he won last year with a record total of $10.9 million.

That crown will return to world number one Tiger Woods, who also missed the cut at the Funai and will not play this week.

The hard-working Fijian, however, is back in action defending the last of the nine titles he claimed last year.

Goosen will try to shake off a groin injury that forced him to withdraw from the WGC American Express Championships and continued to hamper the world number four last week at the Funai.

Other members of the top 10 who will be teeing up at the Copperhead Course include number eight Adam Scott of Australia and number 10 David Toms of the U.S.

Despite being rated a challenging shot-makers course, Copperhead has yielded some low scores including Singh's 18-under 266 winning total last year.

But it remains uncertain what effect Hurricane Wilma has had on the par-71, 7340-yard layout.

October 26, 2005

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